Including Shirley Collins’ album Lodestar in our 2016 Year in Review feature, we wrote:

“Returning with her first recording in 38 years, song collector, treasurer, and interpreter Shirley Collins unites ancient English folk ballads to Cajun reveries, presenting even Lodestar’s 16th century material resolutely in the present tense. She finds dark humor and pathos in these songs, her voice, regained after years of disuse and sickness, sounding warm and present. Surrounded by fiddle and hurdy-gurdy, Collins presents the traditional as avant-garde and her relationship to these songs goes far beyond singer into the realm of inhabitation.”

At 81, Lodestar finds Collins in fine form. It connects to her earliest works — which helped spark the English folk revival — but is rooted in the present. AD spoke with her about putting the record together.

Shirley Collins :: Cruel Lincoln

Aquarium Drunkard: Lodestar is a captivating record. You’ve long struggled with dysphonia but began singing again in 2014, at the behest of David Tibet of Current 93. When and how did it start to feel possible for you that you’d make another record?

Shirley Collins: Well I guess after the gig at Union Chapel, London in February 2014, when David Tibet persuaded me to sing after years away from the live stage. David proposed to make an EP of the two songs (“All the Pretty Little Horses” and “Death and the Lady”). But there were other songs I wanted to sing, and with a bit of encouragement, and an offer from Domino, I went ahead.

AD: How did it feel recording again?

Shirley Collins: Anxious at first, but then I really started to enjoy the process as I was working with such good and understanding musicians. Also, the technology had caught up with me, and we were able to record at home. In a way, it was like making a field recording.


(We originally shared this session in January 2011 shortly after Trish Keenan’s passing. I re-aired the set last month on the radio show. As promised, here it is, re-upped, after the jump.)

If you never had the pleasure of seeing Broadcast on tour, particularly in their early years with keyboardist Roj Stevens and guitarist Tim Felton, then this is for you. Actually, this is for everyone. It’s a dark and saddening time for fans of the band since the recent and sudden passing of singer/multi-instrumentalist Trish Keenan. But I can’t think of a better way to celebrate her life than to spread the group’s music around to as many people as possible. Broadcast’s Black Session from Paris, France – May 4th, 2000 is a perfect representation of their trademark electronic art-pop, Trish’s amazing voice and the band’s ability to transform experimental recordings into beautiful live performances.

This set features the original lineup that toured in support of their spectacular debut album, The Noise Made By People. It also includes all of those quirky electronic segues and dissonance between tracks, along with stellar renditions of early singles, albums cuts and B-sides like “Message From Home“, “Where Youth and Laughter Go“, “Echo’s Answer” and more. words/ s. mcdonald


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 465: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Ryo Kawasaki – Raisins ++ Herbie Hancock – The Twilight Clone ++ James Mason – Sweet Power of Your Embrace ++ Talking Heads – Double Groove (Outtake) ++ David Bowie – Fashion ++ The Headhunters – If You’ve Got It, You’ll Get It (AD edit) ++ CAN – All Gates Open ++ Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool ++ Abadane – Freedom (Hourya) ++ Lucio Battisti – Dio Mio No ++ Faust – It’s A Bit of A Pain ++ Kraftwerk – Transistor ++ Trinidad And Tabago Steel All Stars – Do Your Thing ++ Arica – I Am The Center ++ Neil Ardley – Leap In The Dark ++ CAN – Babylonian Pearl ++ DJ Shadow – Mutual Slump (AD edit) ++ Funkadelic – I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You? ++ Hermanos Calatrava – Space Oddity ++ Nina Simone – Be My Husband ++ Henri Salvador – Pauvre Jesus-Christ ++ 6six – I’m Just Like You ++  Idris Muhammad – Loran’s Dance ++ Henri Texier – Les là-bas ++ Dorothy Ashby – The Moving Finger ++ Shintaro Sakamoto – Mask On Mask ++ Georges Happi – Hello Friends ++ Faust – It’s A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl (AD edit) ++ Radio Commercial / Remain in Light ++ Talking Heads – Fela’s Riff (Unfinished Outtake) ++ Talking Heads – Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) ++ Bobby Hutcherson – NTU

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


Gold Star is Marlon Rabenreither. On his forthcoming lp, Big Blue — named after the ramshackle Hollywood home where he produced and recorded the album — Rabenreither shines and redefines the sound of his last two efforts. A Los Angeles native, the resulting album is an autobiographical work as indebted to writers Fante, Baldwin and Chandler as it is Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Wilco. Out in March via Autumn Tone, this is the first taste.


“My name is Jerry Garcia. I play banjo on the old-timey songs and guitar on the bluegrass songs. And do a lot of lead singing too. Which I am not proud of.”

With a bit of self-deprecation and a guffaw we pay witness to the earliest known studio artifacts of Jerry Garcia. A scant 20 years old at the time, Garcia’s group (the formerly named Thunder Mountain Tub Thumpers) included future Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter (on upright bass) and New Riders of the Purple Sage co-founder David Nelson (on guitar). Recorded in 1962, at Stanford University’s KZSU studio for the station’s Folk Time program, the lost session resided in producer Ted Claire’s closest for nearly 50 years before being unearthed in 2008.

Employing Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music as their guidebook, the 17-song session captures Garcia and cohorts attempting to both echo their elders and refine their chops as professional musicians. Though juvenile only in their playing hours, all 5 members (Ken Frankel on banjo, fiddle, and guitar and Norm Van Maastricht rounded out the group) pour their hearts out, with their youthful fumbles and follies only adding to the character and charm of the session. While traditionalists might cover their ears and decree blasphemy, these recordings (especially “Sitting On Top of the World” which would find itself frequently played by the Grateful Dead) are a true testament to the evolution of Garcia’s career. Only a few short years later he would blend his bluegrass and jug band roots with the electric fury of American and British Rock ’n’ Roll and like they say – the rest is history. words / d norsen

Hart Valley Drifters :: Sitting On Top Of The World


Our collaboration with BlackForrestry continues. Witness – The End Is At Hand: Volume Three. Similar to volumes one and two, this homemade collection rounds up super-obscure, often private press, outsider psychedelic guitar and folk music from the 60s and 70s…all with the underlying theme of the Jesus People Movement.

During the early 1970s the Movement gained a certain amount of notoriety when mass media (Time and Life magazines) featured iconic photographs depicting throngs of hippies getting baptized in the Pacific Ocean + parading through the streets hefting signs that read “Jesus Loves You”. Out of this movement sprang a vibrant music scene, and while there were a number of bands that gained some recognition, many were under-heard, fading into oblivion. Until now. The below mix of Jesus-centric songs ranges in vibe from electric psychedelia to rural pastoral and beyond. And available for the first time in six years, be sure to snag the re-ups of two previous Jesus Movement mixes. Praise.

The End Is At Hand: Volume Three – Gonna Sing My Lord (1:32)

**playlist & volumes one and two after the jump . . .


2009 BBC documentary tracing Neil Young’s career, culled from three hours of interviews shot in New York and California. Featuring Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Nils Lofgren, etc, the doc unearths previously unseen performance footage from Young’s personal archives.